Miniature Bridge Building Competition

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The eighth annual Miniature Bridge Building Competition, which is hosted by YSU and sponsored by Mahoning and Trumbull County Engineers, ms consultants, inc., and many other local businesses, took place on February 27, and 17 high schools from the area comprised 32 teams.

High school students test their civil engineering skills at this competition by trying to build the strongest bridge with the least amount of mass. Students aren’t able to build the bridges beforehand, though. They must set up in the morning in Kilcawley Center and build their bridge out of balsa wood and Elmer’s glue; then, after lunch — even if their bridges aren’t fully dried yet — the bridges are put to the test.

“That’s one of the things — they bring hair dryers to dry them, but if you dry them too much it’ll dry the wood out, making it have less strength. There’s a fine line,” said Carol Lamb, Director of the School of Engineering Technology.

Western Reserve High School’s Team B took home first place for most efficient bridge, which held almost 160 pounds before breaking, and Lowellville High School’s Team B took home second place for most efficient, which held almost 80 pounds before breaking.

Other awards at the event include the Aesthetics Award, which was awarded to Poland High School’s Team B; the Most Improved award, which was awarded to the Youngstown Early College’s Team A; the Teamwork Award, which was given to Mineral Ridge’s Team A; the Wade Harvey Design Award, which was given to Jackson Milton’s Team A; and the Strength Award, which was awarded to Western Reserve High School’s Team B.